Santa Shortage In New England Leads To Some Questionable Hires
It seems like everywhere you go between Thanksgiving and Christmas, you see a Santa. There's a Santa in the mall, a Santa at the pet store, Santas for photo shoot hires, Santas in the streets. While you occasionally see multiple Santas in the same place, it's pretty safe to assume at least some of them are not the real deal. That's right; whether or not you accept it, a number of the Santas you come across each winter are just normal dudes wearing a fat suit and a white beard.
According to the Boston Globe, the demand for Santas has skyrocketed in New England this year, with unexpected venues hiring a jolly big guest to greet customers throughout the holiday season. It's overwhelming for Santas' agents.
“Right now, I probably have 25 requests that I can’t even respond to because I just don’t have any Santas that can go do it,” says Dan Greenleaf of Manchester, New Hampshire, a Saint Nick impersonator himself who also arranges gigs for 50 or so New England-based Santas. “They’re all booked solid.”
The insane demand has led to a shortage of suitable Santa impersonators, which results in less-than-ideal actors taking the part.
At the PetSmart in Westwood, Massachusetts, 24-year-old Nate Schaffer donned a simple Santa suit, popped a squat between the cash registers and the dog treats, and did his best to release his inner Santa.
The associate manager's brown hair was poking out from underneath his hat and his beard sagged... needless to say, he wasn't the most convincing Santa. At 168 pounds, he looked more like Santa's "after" picture. But Schaffer explained why he was the one impersonating Kris Kringle: "No one else wanted to do it."
For the first time in history, people are wishing there were more old white men around!